Clinch Mountain Echo

Tara Nevins - Mule To Ride

(Sugar Hill Records SHCD-3892) 1999.


Mule To Ride
Rear Cover

From Trumansburg, NY Tara Nevins' is one of the founding members of folk/rock/country/zydeo outfit Donna The Buffalo. This 1999 effort was her debut solo disc, and is a bit of a mixed bag, with several old-time fiddle / clawhammer banjo tunes interrupted by occasional country-pop and modern honky tonk songs.

Mike Seeger and Don Rigsby appear on a couple of cuts, and Ralph is featured on three:- Chilly Winds, I've Got A Mule To Ride and Pig In A Pen.

Chilly Winds is an uptempo version of the old Gospel song, driven by relentless fiddle and clawhammer banjo. Ralph sings tenor, but is unfortunately very low in the mix. James Alan Shelton is also on bass. The song shares some similarity in lyrics and melody with Lonesome Road Blues.

I've Got A Mule To Ride is credited as 'traditional' but I think first appeared (at least in this form) on The Rocky Mountain Boys third LP 'I've Got A Mule To Ride' (Mountain And Grass RSR 1002) 1979. Ralph first cut it on his 1981 Memory Of Your Smile LP. The song is similar to the old rag tune I'm Alabama Bound.[1] On this version, Ralph sings tenor and clawhammer banjo. His vocal is a tad higher in the mix, but Jim Miller on lead vocal isn't the greatest.

Pig In A Pen, which was recorded by The Stanley Brothers for King, was either composed or collected by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith and recorded with the Delmore Brothers in 1937.[2] Once again, Ralph is on tenor vocal and banjo, but again his vocals are disappointingly too low in the mix... At the end of the recording, Tara (or guitarist Christina Balfa?) lets out a holler & says "I dig this!" prompting Ralph to whisper: "You're supposed to say nothing for a while after it quits..."

James Alan Shelton also picks lead guitar on Tara's Over My Shoulder, one of the few cuts to feature Tara on lead vocals, and with a country-ish feel thanks to Eddie Trent's steel guitar.

Although the sequencing of the songs on this album leads to a somewhat jarring listening experience, Tara's obviously got a bucket-load of talent, both as a fiddler, singer and song-writer.

Track:
Title:
CD:
(66:06)
1
Fall On My Knees

P.D.
2
Sittin' On Top Of The World

Walter Jacobs / Lonnie Carter
3
Troubles

P.D.
4
Chilly Winds

P.D.
5
Darling Corey

P.D.
6
Over My Shoulder

T. Nevins
7
Lee Highway Blues

P.D.
8
I've Got A Mule To Ride

Donnie Joe Mullins
9
Talkin' Blues

Hopkins
10
Raleigh And Spencer

P.D. arr. T. Nevins
11
John Henry

P.D.
12
Sweet Sensations

The Melodians
13
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia

P.D.
14
Pig In A Pen

P.D. or Arthur Smith?
15
Lost John

P.D.
16
Down The Road

Lester Flatt / Earl Scruggs
17
This Time

T. Nevins
18
Rocky Island

P.D. arr T. Nevins
19
Daddy Said So

T. Nevins
20
3 Wheel Drive

T. Nevins

Go To Top Of Page [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Alabama_Bound
[2] Gary Reid's book 'The Music Of The Stanley Brothers' (p. 168) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny4MzB7eGGY